Ryan Seacrest – Media Mogul
Ryan Seacrest, the hardest working show host in Hollywood, is quickly becoming famous for more than introducing American Idol contestants. This last week, Seacrest Global Group made some noise in the acquisition market when it purchased a majority stake in Civic Entertainment Group. This acquisition will beef up promotional capabilities for Ryan Seacrest Productions, his rapidly growing, and surprisingly diversified, production company. His position in media has made him a hot commodity in the M&A world, with private equity firms like Bain Capital getting involved in his production company. So far they have invested $300 million in Seacrest’s projects, though I doubt it was Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
After building a global name through his successful career as a media personality; hosting his syndicated daily radio show, which airs in over 150 radio stations in North America, hosting the top rated television show, American Idol for over ten years, and co-hosting the New Year’s eve coverage with Dick Clark for the past 7 years (just to name a few). On top of that he has used his exposure and connections to become an Emmy award-winning producer.
As he has leveraged his connections and experience to production, his production company has grown and boasts the production of movies, game shows, new scripted series, and popular shows on E!, including Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
The acquisition of Civic Entertainment Group is evidence to the fact that Seacrest is focused on expansion of the long-term business, and is eager to develop new aspects of his production company. Civic Entertainment Group is a very successful marketing company responsible for clients such as HBO, ESPN, and CNN, and it has a forte in large branded events. Seacrest’s current production projects are diverse in nature, but as of yet, his company does not produce live television events. Civic Entertainment is equipped with the infrastructure and experience to produce and promote such events, thus the driving force of this acquisition.
Why has Seacrest been so successful as an entrepreneur? It comes down to his experience in media and the connections that go with it; he is himself: an instrument of synergy. And the most impressive part is that he knows how to use that advantage. Seacrest defined his niche as, “[being] in the business of communicating to an audience, creating content and working with brands to bring them to customers.” With upcoming game shows and movies, a cable-channel venture with Mark Cuban, and extensive marketing deals with P&G, Coca-Cola and Ford, Seacrest’s ability to bridge the gap between producers, advertisers, networks, and viewers will be a force to be reckoned with for other media companies. And don’t be surprised to hear about Ryan Seacrest in M&A news from now on, he is interested in make more deals with companies that can work strategically with his properties and is already quoted at saying, “I am looking to add another asset that could take this to a more global level.”
While most probably wouldn’t have guessed that a chubby kid from Atlanta, Georgia would become a famous television personality, fewer might have guessed that he would leverage that success into becoming a media tycoon. The founder of Civic Entertainment Group, Stuart Ruderfer, made a bold forecast about Seacrest’s future, “Ryan has a singular, incredible vision of building the next-generation media and entertainment Empire.” If Seacrest continues on his route of synergy and diversification, that prediction might just come true.
By Jim Kerrigan jkerrigan(at)mergers.com